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Parents of the Revolution is a documentary that follows a group of activist parents as they guide their children into the Occupy Wall Street movement. Believing that it is their democratic responsibility to teach their children how to speak out against injustices, these parents take their passions to the front lines, where they meet resistance and, in some cases, outright hostility from the police. An essential teaching tool for 21st Century American Government classrooms, Parents of the Revolution addresses the following themes:
-the meaning of democracy
-conflicting philosophies about how to practice democracy
-the ethics of involving children in that practice
-the proper role of policing in a democracy
-the balance between democratic expression and the rule of law
The exploration of those essential questions and themes, along with vivid first-hand footage of the 2011 movement, make Parents of the Revolution the best cinematic representation of Occupy Wall Street. As such, it is the best way to teach students about the movement’s origin, evolution and ultimate decline.
We designed the Parents of the Revolution Lesson Plan, aligned to the Common Core and individual state standards, to be used specifically in American Government and American History classrooms. It can also be adapted for use at community screenings. The curriculum asks students to think critically about social, political, cultural, constitutional, moral and ethical dimensions of Occupy Wall Street in addition to the themes mentioned above. The lesson plan includes an in-depth viewing guide that contains detailed, targeted questions that get to the heart of the film’s core themes. It also includes opportunities for self-directed learning, inductive inquisition, innovative group-oriented assignments and culminating tasks, and perhaps most importantly, the latitude for teachers to take instruction in their own directions.
Parents of the Revolution shines a bright light onto the Occupy Wall Street Movement and reinforces the notion that individual actions can forever alter the fabric of American democracy.
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